Mystery Match Village – 2D environment for a puzzle game

About Outplay Entertainment

Outplay Entertainment is the UK's largest independent mobile game developer. Founded in Dundee in 2010, the company to date has over 160 million downloads, several Apple Editors' Choice awards, TIGA awards and BAFTA nominations.

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Mystery Match Village

Mystery Match Village is a casual puzzle game with elements of match-3 and HOG, the setting of which revolves around the investigation of a murder on the Nile based on the novel by Agatha Christie. The player will have to work in tandem with the famous Hercule Poirot, interrogate suspects, solve puzzles and look for secret clues in hidden objects locations. The player is also able to earn Poirot Points, which can be spent on exotic decorations to transform the estate.

Production Workflow

Creating a location for the game had two key stages, 3D and 2D – for this, we formed 2 teams of experienced artists.


Our goal was to create game art, the base of which was designed in 3D, subsequently adapted to the desired style and supplemented with the HOG elements by 2D artists.


Our challenge was to strictly follow the terms of reference provided by the client to create a 3D basis for the location and its styling in accordance with the provided references and moodboards.

Mystery Match Village

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Stage 1. 3D modeling

The client provided us with an initial 3D block out of the scene with the correct layout, camera position, color and lighting. Based on the provided block out, 3D modelers implemented the following work:
  • Modeled the necessary elements of the scene.
  • Applied textures to the elements of the scene.
  • Rendered the scene for transfer to the next stage.

Stage 2. 2D overpaint

Next, 2D environment artists entered the process. They needed to make an overpaint – manual drawing over the top of the finished render, adding picturesqueness, implementing color correction, working with light and shadow, and improving textures. They also drew and added hidden objects to the scene. The workflow looked like this:
  • Overpainting 3D renders.
  • Approving the list of hidden objects.
  • Drawing and approving hidden objects.
  • Placing hidden objects on location.

Team Structure

A large amount of painstaking work required the appropriate composition of the team, which had already dealt with similar projects more than once.

  • Lead 3D environment artist

    Responsible for the work of 3D artists to ensure that the result meets all the requirements.
  • 3D environment artists

    Engaged in modeling and texturing the base for the future scene based on the block out.
  • Lead 2D environment artist

    Responsible for the work of the 2D artists and the compliance of the work with the required style.
  • 2D environment artists

    Engaged in overpainting locations, creating and placing hidden objects on locations.
  • Project manager

    Provides a high level of planning, organization and execution of the project for timely delivery.

Values Delivered

Our team has made every effort to create colorful and appealing art that is on par with well-known HOG games.

Intermittent work with Outplay Entertainment lasted over two years, during which we designed 5 episodes, over 10 locations and 800+ hidden objects. Thanks to clear requirements, detailed terms of reference and optimal distribution of tasks, the work proceeded smoothly and quickly with a minimum of corrections from the client. Our 3D modelers created a solid base for locations, and 2D artists gave it a unique style and added the necessary hidden objects to harmonize and cohere the scene.

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